Marylanders now have access to an updated COVID-19 booster vaccine that is designed to better protect against symptoms of subvariants Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. The BA.5 subvariant makes up almost 90% of all COVID-19 strains now in circulation.
The new boosters are available in time for fall, typically a time of year when cases of the coronavirus, as well as hospitalizations, rise.
“We all want the pandemic to be over, but COVID-19 is still very much with us,” says Bob Atlas, President & CEO of the Maryland Hospital Association. “All Marylanders who are eligible should get boosted as soon as possible to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Aug. 31 amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for individuals 12 years and older and Moderna COVID -19 vaccines doses for individuals 18 years and older to recommend the two new bivalent boosters. With the amendment of the EUA for these populations, the monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized as booster doses for individuals 12 and older.
To receive one of the bivalent boosters, you must have already received a primary COVID-19 vaccine series.
“If you’ve had your primary series and a monovalent booster, and it’s been two months or more since your last boost, you can get the bivalent booster,” Atlas says. “If you are eligible, there is no reason to wait to get your booster.”
More information is available in the FDA’s EUA and from the CDC.
This press release was provided by the Maryland Hospital Association